The allele frequencies for the apolipoprotein B (apo B) 5'-Ins/Del and 3'-VNTR polymorphisms varied significantly (p < 0.01) among Singaporeans of Chinese, Malay and Indian descent. We calculated the unbiased expected heterozygosities for the 5'-Ins/Del polymorphism as 0.3357, 0.1984 and 0.2418, and for the 3'-VNTR as 0.5980, 0.5260 and 0.6749, respectively, in the Chinese, Malays and Indians. Compared to heterozygosities reported for other populations, the Singaporeans differed from most Caucasians in having significantly lower values but were closely related to other non-Caucasians. Thirteen alleles, with a bimodal distribution, were observed at the 3'-VNTR polymorphic locus; the alleles occurring most frequently among the Chinese and Malays were of 35 or 53 repeats, and among the Indians, of 37 or 47 repeats. The Del allele was associated with elevated serum cholesterol (p = 0.023), LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) (p = 0.001) in the Chinese, and apo B (p = 0.007) in the Indians. Likewise, the larger 3'-VNTR alleles (> 41 repeats) were associated with raised cholesterol (p = 0.018), LDL-C (p = 0.025), and triglyceride (p = 0.001) in the Chinese. The two polymorphisms were not in significant linkage disequilibrium (D = -0.0029, p = 0.494) in the three ethnic groups.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.